Beat the pension scammers

Back to News & Views

Once the money is gone, it’s almost impossible to get it back

Your pension is one of your most valuable assets, and for many it offers financial security throughout retirement and the rest of their lives. But, like anything valuable, your pension can become the target for illegal activities, scams or inappropriate and high-risk investments

Fraudsters promise high returns and low risk, but in reality, pension savers who are scammed can be left with nothing. When savers realise they’ve been scammed, it can be devastating – many lose their life savings. Once the money is gone, it’s almost impossible to get it back.

How pension scams work

Anyone can be the victim of a pension scam, no matter how savvy they think they are. It’s important that everyone can spot the warning signs.
Scammers try to persuade pension savers to transfer their entire pension savings, or to release funds from it, by making attractive-sounding promises they have no intention of keeping.

The pension money is often invested in unusual, high-risk investments like:

Overseas property and hotels
Renewable energy bonds
Forestry
Parking
Storage units

Or it can be simply stolen outright.

Warning signs of a pension scam

Scammers often cold call people via phone, email or text – this is illegal, and a likely sign of a scam. They often advertise online and can have websites that look official or government-backed.

Other common signs of pension scams:

Being approached out of the blue: by text, phone call, email or at your front door
Phrases used like ‘free pension review’, ‘pension liberation’, ‘loan’, ‘legal loopholes’, ‘savings advance’, ‘one- off investment’, ‘cashback’, ‘government initiatives’
Recommendations of transferring your money into a single overseas investment, with returns of 8% or higher
Guarantees they can get better returns on pension savings
Help to release cash from a pension before the age of 55, with no mention of the HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) tax bill that can arise
High-pressure sales tactics – time- limited offers to get the best deal; using couriers to send documents, who wait until they’re signed
Unusual high-risk investments, which tend to be overseas, unregulated, with no consumer protections
Complicated investment structures
Long-term pension investments – which often mean people who transfer in do not realise something is wrong for a number of years
Claims that they are from a legitimate organisation like the Pension Service, Pension Wise
Visits from a courier or personal representative to pressure you to sign paperwork and speed up your transfer
There may be an authentic-looking website, but these can be cloned from legitimate organisations
There will be little or nothing in the way of contact names, addresses or phone numbers

Scams can take many forms

Many scammers persuade savers to transfer their money into single member occupational schemes, or other occupational pension schemes.
It’s good to remember that pension scams can take many forms and usually appear to most to be a legitimate investment opportunity.

What to do if you think you’ve been or are being scammed

If you think you might have already been targeted and you’ve agreed to transfer your pension, you should:

1. Contact your pension provider immediately – they may be able to stop the transfer if it has not already gone through.
2. Contact Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040 and report the scam.
3. Action Fraud website contact form: https://www.actionfraud.police.uk/contact-us-form

Book your FREE, no obligation discussion today. Schedule Appointment

Sign Up to our mailing list - Receive regular news, tips and financial commentary from the Gemini Team.

Latest News

  • Providing an income for your loved ones to enjoy, long after you are gone If you’ve spent a lifetime saving for retirement, you’d probably like any remaining money to go to a loved one after your death. But whether pension benefits are payable to a beneficiary, and how they’ll receive them, is dependent on the type of pension you’ve chosen and how you’ve accessed it in your retirement. [...]

  • How much it will cost and how you are going to pay for it? People planning for retirement should think hard about what they want to do when they eventually stop work. It is helpful to have a good idea of the lifestyle you want, how much it will cost and how you are going to pay for it. [...]

  • Providing an income for your loved ones to enjoy, long after you are gone If you’ve spent a lifetime saving for retirement, you’d probably like any remaining money to go to a loved one after your death. But whether pension benefits are payable to a beneficiary, and how they’ll receive them, is dependent on the type of pension you’ve chosen and how you’ve accessed it in your retirement. [...]

  • Take control of your finances – 10 tips to enjoy the retirement you want [...]

  • Once the money is gone, it’s almost impossible to get it back Your pension is one of your most valuable assets, and for many it offers financial security throughout retirement and the rest of their lives. But, like anything valuable, your pension can become the target for illegal activities, scams or inappropriate and high-risk investments [...]

  • General guidelines that can help you determine whether you’re ready to retire One of the most difficult decisions you’ll ever have to make is when to retire. It’s a personal choice that depends on many factors, both financial and non-financial. There’s no single right answer, but there are some key things to consider that can help you decide if retirement is the right choice for you. [...]

  • 3 weeks ago

    More over 65s are still working than six years ago More people in the UK aged between 65 and 74 are still working compared to six years ago, new research shows[1]. The findings show there’s a marked increase in the number of people over 65 who remain in the workforce compared to 2016, and a fall in the number drawing their State Pension. [...]

  • Auto-enrolment: celebrating a decade that has encouraged a culture of saving  Since it was introduced ten years ago, auto-enrolment has revolutionised pension saving for millions of people in the UK, encouraging a culture of saving for the long term. It’s been a positive initiative and, crucially, individuals now have to take more responsibility for their retirement savings. [...]

  • More investors align investments with personal values Over the past few decades, there has been a growing interest and awareness in investing in companies that take into account environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors. [...]

  • More than one-million over-60’s are rethinking later life plans With people living longer lives and retirement now lasting up to several decades, the reality is that the majority of us will have to pay for later life care at some stage – whether that be for ourselves or loved ones. When there is no provision for this, it can have a potentially catastrophic impact on someone’s later life and wellbeing. [...]

  • 1 month ago

    Mistakes to avoid when you’re aiming to build your pot Many people are feeling the pressure on their finances at the moment due to the backdrop of rising inflation and the cost-of-living soaring. In these circumstances, it can be difficult to think about your long-term finances or even contemplate saving for the future. However, even in the current climate there are ways to maximise the value of any pension savings you do have. [...]

  • Minimising the impact on your personal finances If you’re a higher rate taxpayer, the freeze on the Income Tax threshold will have meant an increase in your tax bill. The reason for the increase stems from the Chancellor’s decision in April 2021 to freeze the higher rate tax threshold rather than increase it in line with inflation. With inflation running at a 40-year high, pay increases will mean more people are being pushed into the higher rate tax bracket. You pay higher rate tax on the portion of income that falls between £50,271 and £150,000 (or between £43,663 and £150,000 in Scotland). Higher rate tax is charged at 40% (or 41% in Scotland). [...]

Gemini Wealth Management Ltd is Authorised and regulated by The Financial Conduct Authority Registered in England & Wales No. 5919877 Registered Office: Gemini House, 71 Park Road, Sutton Coldfield, West Midlands B73 6BT The Financial Conduct Authority does not regulate tax and trust advice, will writing and some forms of buy to let mortgages. The guidance and/or advice contained in this website is subject to regulatory regime and is therefore restricted to those based in the UK.

Website by Mellow Marsh Software
© Gemini Wealth Management Ltd
Privacy Notice | Cookie Policy